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These are the Fianna Fáil women who could be in line for a promotion

It’s understood Micheál Martin will appoint at least three women to the party’s front bench.

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WHILE THERE IS a record number of women in the 32nd Dáil, some parties have done better than others in terms of gender balance.

Women have taken some of the top jobs in Cabinet: Frances Fitzgerald has been appointed Tánaiste and Justice Minister; Heather Humphreys is the Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht and Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been appointed as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The new Chief Whip is Regina Doherty.

In terms of other political parties, Sinn Féin are on par with Fine Gael with 22% of women elected, while Labour stands at 29%. Other parties, such as Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit have 33%.

However, Fianna Fáil has only a handful of female TDs.

Fianna Fáil women 

In total the party ran 77 candidates in the general election, 22 of whom were female – just 31%.

Of the 44 candidates elected, just six are women.  

pie Percentage of women elected. Source: Women for Election

While it is tipped that those in the government negotiating team are to get their just rewards, it’s understood Micheál Martin will appoint at least three women to the party’s front bench.

Kildare South’s Fiona O’Loughlin has already been appointed as an assistant party whip.

30/07/2013. Fianna Fail Gender Equality Action Pla Fianna Fáil's Lisa Chambers

Mayo TD Lisa Chambers nominated Micheál Martin three times for the role of an Taoiseach. She is among the rising stars in the party – young, articulate and well-liked – she holds a degree in Commerce and Law, a Masters in Commercial Law and has a professional barrister qualification from the King’s Inns.

She has been vocal about getting more women into politics and some of her areas of interest are understood to include health and jobs. Chambers has already shown herself to be a competent speaker in the Dáil, making some strong contributions in the areas of crime and mental health.

If Martin were to follow in Fine Gael’s shoes, he might appoint a new, fresh face to the health portfolio.

03/03/2016. Election 2016 - Dail Arrivals. Picture Lisa Chambers, Anne Rabbitte and Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony. Source: Sam Boal

Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte describes herself on Twitter as a “strong voice for our community in forgotten rural Ireland”.

She often highlights issues of importance in rural areas, such as the Rural Social Scheme, flood prevention for farmers and the regeneration of small towns in the west.

The Ministry of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht would seem like a good fit for Rabbitte.

03/03/2016. Election 2016 - Dail Arrivals. Picture Fianna Fail Niamh Smyth arriving at Leinster House. Source: Sam Boal

Cavan Monaghan TD Niamh Smyth is the Women’s Network Board Officer – a group that campaigns for gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights at a national level.

She has been vocal about encouraging more female representation in the party, in government, and across all aspects of the workforce.

Martin might see Smyth as a good opponent to Mary Mitchell O’Connor, in the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation portfolio.

03/03/2016. Election 2016 - Dail Arrivals. Picture Fianna Fail Mary Butler TD arriving at Leinster House. Source: Sam Boal

TD Mary Butler topped the poll in Waterford and in doing so became the first new Fianna Fáil female elected since 2007.

The mother of three already sits on the Housing and Homeless Committee. It’s understood she has her sights set on the frontbench, and has expressed an interest in the transport portfolio in the past.

Margaret-Murphy-OMahony Source: Fianna Fáil

Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony from the Cork South-West constituency is from a strong grassroots Fianna Fáil family in Bandon.

She said she is committed to restoring dignity to the health service, and has worked in the area of special needs, which could be something earmarked for her.

Ultimately, the party leader Micheál Martin will get to choose the appointments, which are expected early next week.

Poll: People would vote practically the same way if there was another election>

Read: The vast majority of Irish people have no confidence in their new ministers>

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